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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology

Radar Science and Engineering
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Scott Hensley

Scott  Hensley -
Contact Info:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-235
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818.354.4321
Email: Click here
Member of:
Section Staff

Dr. Scott Hensley received his BS degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of California at Irvine. He received a PhD in mathematics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he specialized in the study of differential geometry. Subsequent to graduating, Dr. Hensley worked at Hughes Aircraft Company on a variety of radar systems, including the Magellan radar.

In 1992, Dr. Hensley joined the staff of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he studies advanced radar techniques for geophysical applications. His research has involved using both stereo and interferometric data acquired by the Magellan spacecraft at Venus. Dr. Hensley has worked with ERS-1, JERS-1 and SIR-C data for differential interferometry studies of earthquakes and volcanoes. He was a major contributor to the ROI-PAC software package for processing radar differential interferometry data.

Current research also includes studying the amount of penetration into the vegetation canopy using simultaneous L- and C-band TOPSAR measurements and repeat-pass airborne interferometry data collected at lower frequencies (P-band). He was the Chief Scientist for GeoSAR, a simultaneous X-band and P-band radar interferometer for mapping above and beneath the canopy, which is now commercially operated by Earthdata International. He was the technical lead of the Interferometric Processor Development Team of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), a shuttle-based interferometric radar used to map the Earth’s topography between ±60° latitude.

He is currently the principal investigator of NASA's UAVSAR program, which is developing a repeat-pass radar interferometry capability for use on conventional or uninhabited aerial vehicles. Recently, he began working with the Goldstone Solar System Radar to generate topographic maps of the lunar surface.


PhD Mathematics - State University of New York at Stony Brook
BS Mathematics and Physics - University of California, Irvine

Research Interests:

My major research activities involve the development of algorithms for the processing and application of radar interferometry data.

Professional Experience:

2008-2013: Assistant Section Manager, Radar Science & Engineering
2004-present: UAVSAR Principal Investigator
2003-present: Cassini Radar Team Member
1997-2002: SRTM Topographic Processor Lead
1996-2003: GeoSAR Principal Investigator
1989-1992: Magellan Radar Team Member

Selected Awards:

2005 - NASA Group Achievement Award for the Cassini Radar Processor
2004 - NASA Group Achievement Award for competing the SRTM DEM
2003 - NASA Medal for Excellence for Leading the SRTM Processing Effort
2003 - Appointed to IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society Distinguished Lecturer Program
2002 - TAP Program Exceptional Service Award for leadership and technical contributions to the GeoSAR Program
2001 - TAP Program Exceptional Achievement Award for the GeoSAR Radar Processor
2000 - TAP Program Group Achievement Award for leading the SRTM Data Processing Team
1998 - Best Symposium Paper Award at 1998 IEEE International Symposium on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (IGARSS ''''98)
1992 - NASA Group Achievement Award for the Magellan Radar
1987, 1990 - Superior Performance Awards at Hughes Aircraft Company

Selected Publications:

Bryan W. Stiles, Scott Hensley, Yonggyu Gim, David M. Bates, et al., "Determining Titan surface topography from Cassini SAR Data," Icarus, Vol. 202, No.2, pp. 584-598. 2009.

Howard Zebker, Bryan W. Stiles, Scott Hensley, Ralph D. Lorenz, and Randolph L. Kirk, "Size and Shape of Saturn's Moon Titan from Cassini Radar Altimeter and SAR Monopulse Observations," Science, Vol. 324 no. 5929, pp. 921-923. 2009.

Bryan Stiles, Randoplh Kirk, Ralph Lorenz, Scott Hensley, Ella Lee, Steven Ostro, Micheal Allison, Philip Callahan, Yonggyu Gim, Luciano Iess, Paolo Perci Del Marmo, Gary Hamilton, William T.K. Johnson, Richard West, and the Casssini Radar Team, "Determining Titan’s Spin States from Cassini Radar Images," The Astronomical Journal, Vol. 135. May 2008.

Bryan W. Stiles, Randolph L. Kirk, Ralph D. Lorenz, Scott Hensley, et al., "Determining Titan's Spin State from Cassini RADAR Images," The Astronomical Journal, Vol 135 No 5, pp. 1669-1680. 2008.

Ralph Lorenz, Bryan Stiles, Randolph Kirk, Micheal Allison, Paolo Perci Del Marmo, Luciano Iess, Jonathan Lunine, Steven Ostro, Scott Hensley, "Titan's Rotation Reveals an Internal Ocean and Changing Zonal Winds," Science, Vol 319, pp. 1649-1651. 2008.

E. Moore, T. Freeman and S. Hensley, "Spaceborne and airborne radar at Angkor: Introducing new technology to the ancient site," Remote Sensing in Archeology, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 2007.

Hensley, S. and Madsen, S. N., "Interferometric Radar Waveform Design and the Effective Interferometric Wavelength," Proceedings of the Waveform Diversity and Design Conference, Pisa, Italy. June 2007.

Hensley, S., Wheeler, K., Sadowy, G., Miller, T., Shaffer, S., Muellerschoen, R., Jones, C., Zebker, H., Madsen, S., Rosen, P., "Status of a UAVSAR designed for repeat pass interferometry for deformation measurements," Microwave Symposium Digest, 2005 IEEE MTT-S International, pp. 4. June 2005.

C. Elachi, S. Wall, M. Allison,Y. Anderson, R. Boehmer, P. Callahan, P. Encrenaz, E. Flamini, G. Francescetti, Y. Gim, G. Hamilton, S. Hensley, M. Janssen, W. Johnson, K. Kelleher, R. Kirk, R. Lopes, R. Lorenz, J. Lunine, D. Muhleman, S. Ostro, F. Paganelli, G. Picardi, F. Posa, L. Roth, R. Seu, S. Shaffer, L. Soderblom, B. Stiles, E. Stofan, S. Vetrella, R. West, C. Wood, L. Wye, and H. Zebker, "Cassini Radar Views the Surface of Titan," Science, Vol. 308, No. 5724, pp. 970-974. 2005.

Hensley, S., E. Chapin, A. Freedman, C. Le, S. Madsen, T. Michel, E. Rodríquez, P. Siqueira, K. Wheeler, "First P-band Results using the GeoSAR Mapping System," Proc. of IGARSS 2001, Sydney, Australia. 2001.

Hensley, S., Chapin, E., Freedman, A., Le, C., Madsen, S., Michel, T., Rodriguez, E., Siqueira, P., Wheeler, K., "First P-band results using the GeoSAR mapping system," Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2001, IGARSS, ’01, IEEE 2001 International, Volume 1, pp. 126-128. July 2001.

Hensley, S., Rosen, P., Gurrola, E., "The SRTM topographic mapping processor," Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2000. Proceedings of IGARSS 2000. IEEE 2000 International, Volume 3, pp. 1168-1170. July 2000.


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